ONE OF SIENA’S HIDDEN TREASURES

On October 5 of the year 1554, more than 250 orphans were bluntly expelled from the Republic of Siena. The city had been under siege for 9 months and its government decreed that the best way forward to hold out against the enemy was to get rid of its bocche disutili, its “useless mouths”. And during the following months, another 4000 citizens, mostly children, unmarried women and elderly souls, were sent packing by the same token.

Continue Reading →

THE SEVEN-YEAR… SPARKLE

Okay, time to crack open a bottle of champagne : the 200 mark is now being reached!

Yes, dear readers, since 2012, the year I started the Trust & Travel blog, 199 riveting articles have been published before the one you are now devouring – no. 200, as it turns out, and a good opportunity, I thought, to forego the usual travel insights and give you a bit of an update on all the exciting things that have taken place over the last seven years in our little sphere of activity.

Continue Reading →

Italian Leather Craftsmanship

My love for the bel paese has always been closely related to my passion for fine leather bags. And when I say “fine leather bags”, I don’t necessarily mean Gucci or Prada – even though I would not turn the precious item down if you offered me one. Since I first set foot in Italy, I have always revelled in discovering and supporting lesser-known artisan leather brands.

Continue Reading →

They Are Simply Everywhere!

Oh, look Mummy, there’s a mosquito sagra around here! Can we go? Pleeeaaase!

This was two years ago, in August. My family and I were leisurely driving through the Italian province of Ferrara, along secondary roads, on our way to our treasured Tuscany.

My daughter was already, at that time, a seasoned sagra spotter and unconditional sagra lover. We were driving down a hairpin bend when she suddenly caught sight, between two yawns, of a colourful poster announcing the Festa mondiale della zanzara, the International Mosquito Fair…

Continue Reading →

A Nice Little Mess in Montisi

A few weeks ago, under clear blue skies, I was on my way from Montalcino to Perugia when the fancy of a good Italian coffee insidiously took me. I decided to make a stop in Montisi, a lovely village which I hadn’t visited in ages.

I was strolling down Montisi’s main street, heading towards the bar I had made out from a distance, when I got sidetracked by a little shop on my right. Atop the entrance I could read the words Macelleria Casini – “macelleria” being the Italian word for “butcher’s shop”. Not a single chunk of fresh meat was displayed in the window, though; just a colourful kaleidoscope of printed textiles.

Continue Reading →

Architecturally Yours

Are you, dear reader, a candid Instagram addict like me? If so, you must have seen – perhaps even reposted ? – a photograph of an indoor swimming pool which, by now, is probably familiar to millions of people around the world. This picture appears in the “slideshow” just above this article.

Continue Reading →

Sartorial Elegance in Montalcino

“You have created most of these lovely dresses and jackets, Renata?
– Yes, Katharina, my sister and I have designed them. The bags and scarves too.
– Wow! Talent obviously runs in the family…
– I’m afraid so.

Continue Reading →

Chestnut Wisdom

Carry a chestnut in your pocket and you’ll never run out of money… No, this is not a piece of advice that I’m trying to give you. It’s a German saying: Eine Kastanie in der Tasche und du hast immer Geld.

When I was a student in my teen years – a penniless student, – I did carry a chestnut in my pocket for several months. Not much happened in terms of personal enrichment, unfortunately. So I gave up on the chestnut trick after a while. But one thing I have never given up on is my long relaxing walks in the chestnut groves of Tuscany.

Continue Reading →

The world’s densest vineyard

If you like good coffee, as I do, the brandname Illy must be familiar to you. Last August, during a concert given in Tuscany by Mark Springer, I was introduced to Francesco Illy, a member of the Italian family who founded the now internationally renowned Illycaffè company.

At one point in our friendly conversation, Francesco revealed to me that he owned and ran a winery near Montalcino, a town located 120 km south of Florence in the heart of one of Italy’s best winemaking regions.

Continue Reading →

The Keys to Enjoying Siena

Last week, I had a glass of wine with friends who had spent their August holidays in Tuscany. Unsurprisingly, a great part of our conversation centered on their Italian respite:

“We had the most wonderful time, Katharina, really. The view we had from the villa, the blooming lavender, the garden, the wine, the food… We enjoyed everything and every single moment of it. Except…”

Continue Reading →



NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to Katharina´s Italy

Enjoy monthly highlights of the best posts...
Sign up here
© 2012 Katharina´s Italy | Privacy Policy
Site design by InfinVision